What Should You Do When You (or a Loved One) Gets Hit & Injured by a Car?
Nowadays, hit-and-runs seem to occur more often in Dallas, Texas than they used to years ago. The problem has often been attributed to distracted drivers causing the accident, then driving off out of fear of getting caught. Unfortunately, with the increase in people texting or checking their phones while driving or even walking, hit-and-runs in the area have also increased.
While the hope is that a driver will stick around after hitting and injuring someone, this is not always the case. It can then be more difficult to figure out what to do if you can’t readily exchange information with the person and have the police there to help figure things out. Afterward, you’ll want to meet with an experienced Dallas pedestrian accident lawyer.
The first thing you should do if you are injured in a car accident in Dallas is stay calm and ensure you are out of danger. Be sure that you are not blocking traffic or otherwise in the path of oncoming cars. If you are unable to move, don’t. You can either call for help or wait for it to arrive. These days, the fact that everyone has a cell phone means that you won’t be waiting long.
If you are involved in an accident in Texas, the law requires you to exchange certain key points of information with the other driver. Such information includes:
- Your names, addresses, and contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers
- Your driver’s license numbers
- The license plates numbers of the vehicle(s) involved
- Insurance information (carriers and policy numbers)
You may also want to take pictures of the scene. They may be helpful to your case later on, especially if you have difficulty remembering some of the details.
Filing an Accident Report
In some accidents that occur in Dallas, you are required to file what is a called a Driver’s Crash Report with the Texas Department of Transportation within 10 days of the accident. Only accidents that fulfill the below require the accident to be reported:
- A police report has not been filed.
- The accident caused an injury or death.
- There was damage of a minimum of $1,000 to at least one person’s property.
If a police report was filed, then the peace officer is required to submit this report. This is why it is your responsibility to file it if the police were not involved.
If you or a loved one is hit by a car in Dallas and suffers an injury, it may seem like a no-brainer that your insurance coverage would pay for your care, right? The answer here is: not necessarily.
Texas is an “at fault” state when it comes to insurance payouts. What this means is that you have to be able to show that the other driver was at fault in causing the accident. And if the other driver is nowhere to be found, then it becomes more difficult, even impossible, to process the claim.
What this means is that you might be forced to pay out of pocket for all of your medical care –when you didn’t do anything wrong in the first place! In this situation, just having a lawyer by your side may be enough to help you recover what you would have otherwise lost in dealing with the insurance company yourself. Pintas & Mullins, a Dallas car accident law firm, can help you fight against insurance companies who would otherwise squirrel out of paying your legitimate medical claim.
Crossing the Road Illegally
If you or a loved one were hit by a car in Dallas while jaywalking (not crossing the road at a crosswalk), then Texas law shifts from “who was at fault” to “how much is each party at fault?” The same applies if you were hit while engaging in distracted walking, such as texting and not looking where you were going.
What this means is that a court may find both you and the driver of the other car at fault. The court will then determine how much damages to award, and to whom. This is where you may want to consult with a lawyer. For instance, if the driver should have been paying better attention to his surroundings, the court may determine that he was 80 percent at fault. You will still be found 20 percent at fault because you chose to cross the road at an unsafe location.
A lawyer may be able to argue the fairness of the court’s decision and get you a better result. Our pedestrian accident lawyers have seen various outcomes in cases like these in Dallas, and we want to fight for you to receive the best one.
Have You Suffered An Injury In A Dallas Pedestrian Car Accident?
Even if you have suffered an injury as the result of jaywalking or distracted walking, our Dallas pedestrian accident lawyers may be able to help. We have decades of experience fighting for victims of car accidents, just like you. We’re here to answer your questions and point you in the right direction, with NO obligation to retain. And, what’s more, we don’t collect a legal fee unless we win your case.